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iPhone Readers: Iceberg Reader Apps

Iceberg Reader isn’t a standalone reader app, such as Stanza or eReader, but rather a licensed architecture, such as TouchBooks, that provides the framework for single book downloads from the app store. I’m the type that likes to manage my own library, so this isn’t quite in my wheelhouse,  but for those who want to download a book, read it, and be done with it (and reclaim the homescreen space and memory it occupies) appbooks with Iceberg may be the best option for you.
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Kindle DX Roundup: It’s Bigger, More Expensive

The Internet ate too much Kindle DX yesterday and threw up all over itself; there was instant analysis and little chunks of live-blogging everywhere. Now that things have calmed down a bit, here’s your guide to what everybody’s been saying.

As you might have heard, the Kindle DX—just announced yesterday—is Amazon’s large-screen version of their flagship product. Its specs are very similar to the Kindle 2′s feature set, except that the DX has a 9.7″ screen (instead of 6″) and costs nearly $500.

OK, those aren’t quite the only differences. The DX also sports an iPhone-like auto-rotate feature, which you can see in action in the first of a series of great videos from a MobileRead user. And the official DX page at Amazon crows about native PDF support; however, the new Kindle still doesn’t support any DRM formats other than Kindle proprietary. That means the DX still can’t talk to Adobe Digital Editions and still can’t borrow library ebooks, and all that has an Adobe exec, as TeleRead noticed, siding with Sony.

The bigger fish frying is how Kindle DX will perform as a textbook platform and as a newspaper reader.


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Sony Reader PRS-700: Full Review

UPDATE PREFACE: If you’re thinking of getting a Sony Reader, you should know that if you get a lemon, you’re in for a headache. Original review follows.

I’ve had my Sony Reader PRS-700 for two weeks now, and it has essentially fulfilled the expectations I had when I bought it. It’s not perfect by any means, but for a certain kind of reader, i.e. me, it gets the job done while we wait for the Great eReader Adoption.

So, here’s my experience with and review of the Sony Reader PRS-700.


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Update: No Library eBooks on Macs (For Sony Readers)

Not long ago, I wrote about OverDrive Media Console for Macs, and how Sony Reader users still couldn’t borrow library ebooks on their Macs.

I’ve since borrowed a Mac to see if I could circumvent the eBook Library system: no such luck.

It was possible to install Digital Editions on the Mac, and downloading library ebooks was easy. The trouble came when I plugged in my Reader: Adobe simply couldn’t recognize it. I guess Digital Editions needs eBook Library to introduce the Reader to it, and eBook Library won’t work on Macs.

Yet another shame, and another thing that will have to change before the Great eReader Adoption can begin. Mobipocket ereaders like the BeBook work fine on Macs, and you can still get almost all the same library books in Mobi as you can in PDF. Just don’t buy a Sony.

The good news is that Calibre works on Macs, and talks to the Reader with no trouble. You can even transfer the (non-DRM) books already on your Reader onto different hard drives with Calibre. So you can at least use non-DRM ebooks with the Reader on a Mac. Small consolation.

OverDrive Media Console for Macs Lets Macheads Listen to Audiobooks from the Public Library

I found out about a new OverDrive Media Console for Macs over the weekend. Overdrive makes the architecture for libraries that allows patrons to check out digital content, including ebooks and audiobooks.

The Mac Console isn’t new, it’s been around for three months or so, but it does mark a step toward Mac users being able to get the same econtent from public libraries that Windows users can now.

It looks like Macheads can also check out ebooks, but can’t yet transfer them to an ereader. That’s because the Sony Reader isn’t compatible with Macs, and it’s the only device compatible with Adobe Digital Editions, which manages the DRM for OverDrive ebooks. (This boggles my mind on behalf of both Kindle users and Macheads.)

However, it might not be true. Adobe says on their website that you must have the most current eBook Library software installed in order to use Digital Editions, but the two programs work independently of each other, and eBook Library is the only one that won’t work on a Mac.

I wrote a post a little while ago taking ereader producers to task for sacrificing the functionality of their devices to (try to) make more money. This smacks more of incompetence on Sony’s part than intercorporation stonewalling, but it’s equally as ridiculous.

Anyway, I’ll see if I can get a library book on my Reader from a Mac, and I’ll put the results in a new post.

My Nightmare With Sony’s eBook Library

eBook Library is not just the clunkiest, ugliest, and worst ereader management software I’ve used, it’s the worst that I can imagine. eBook Library came bundled with my PRS-700; it’s Sony’s standard ereader software, and also the primary link to Sony’s eBook Store, which also sucks.

What follows is not for the weak of heart. It’s a tale of woe, and there is much gnashing of teeth. (And I’m a Reader fan.) But if you’d like to hear about a software catastrophe of historic proportions, come along.


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Kindle vs. Sony Reader PRS-700: Why I Chose the Reader

[UPDATES: Check out our ereader comparison for links to more resources, and summaries ofall major available ereaders.

Full review of the PRS-700 here. Also, you should know that if you buy a Sony Reader and get a lemon, you’re in for a headache. There are pictures of the 700′s screen vs. the 505′s screen at MobileRead; it’s a dramatic difference. I currently read on a 505 and I’ve been quite happy with it. Plus the screen hasn’t broken (probably helped by not being a touchscreen). The 505 is also the cheapest quality ereader for $270 on Amazon. [REUPDATE: The PRS-300 is now available for even less than the 505. There are also a few other options out there for around $200. Check our ereader comparison for quick summaries of the available ereaders out there.]

Despite the “advancements” made in Kindle 2, it’s essentially the same device. In retrospect, I wouldn’t buy another PRS-700, but I would absolutely recommend a PRS-505.

For potential Kindle customers: think twice before buying one, unless you read newspapers and magazines almost exclusively. Original article continues from here.]

I was in the market for an ereader for about a month. At first I was seduced by the Kindle’s wireless everywhere feature, and the fact that the Kindle store on Amazon has more ebooks than anywhere else, and almost always the cheapest books, too.

After a few weeks of research, though, I chose the Reader, the PRS-700. I’ve had it for about a

week now, and I haven’t looked back. I’m not going to get too exhaustively into the features of both readers in this post, you can find such things here, and here, and here. And I’ll be doing a complete review of my experience with the Reader in a future post.

So here I’m focusing on the criteria I used to decide on the Reader, including the best feature of all, which Sony seems determined to hide.
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